Best Practice Guidelines: Healthcare Practice Management

6. Diary Administration

Responsible Roles

Check the waiting room and manage the time per appointment with each patient. Inform the practice manager if some appointments must be postponed.
Ensure that competent personnel are available to complete the day’s workload. Manage the waiting room and the time patients wait for consultations. Check the diary to see if all documents have been uploaded onto the software if all necessary processes were completed, that all theatre lists were sent to hospitals and that all correct information was added for the next day. 
Move, extend and cancel appointments. Multi-Doctor View can be used to ensure the correct management of all available time slots. Ensure all demographic information is correct and up to date. Compile the theatre list and schedule patients on the theatre list and complete all pertinent information. When appointments are cancelled, ensure that the Waiting List is managed (Desktop App only).
  The stock controller should have access to the appointments, to know how many patients are booked. Ensure that the practice has enough stock to be able to treat the number of patients that are booked for a certain period plus the number of patients that the practice has the capacity to still book for that certain period. The reason for the appointment can be an indicator of the certain items that will be needed. Go through all the chronic patients to ensure the stock will be ready for the patients to be collected.

Purpose of Diary Administration

  • Using the electronic diary will assist with the day to day operations of your medical practice.
  • Diary administration assists in managing the practice, personnel and patients.
  • Quick and easy access to day to day functions.

Critical Steps of Diary Administration

Multi-Doctor View
  • Multi-Doctor View ensures that the receptionist can view multiple practitioner diaries at the same time.
  • Manage appointments quickly on the same day between multiple doctors.
  • Can move appointments between different practitioners.
  • View all available slots for the day for all the practitioners at once.
Render Policy (Web App)
Render Policies are the different diary views of the Web App, eg a normal diary view or a worklist view. Every user can choose their own render policy to satisfy their work requirements.
  • Timeslot (Overlap) and Timeslot (Stacked):  this view shows the available and booked time slots for appointments. The Overlap view will show double bookings for the same time slot next to each other. The stacked view will place double bookings for the same time slot underneath each other. Practices who use the diary to manage appointments will use the Timeslot view.
  • Stacked by Time: this stack view shows booked time slots underneath each other and no available time slots will be visible. New bookings can be made by clicking on a new booking and will place the new booking into the correct time slot and order according to the time of the booking. Practices that accommodate mostly WalkIn Patients and/or work on a first come first serve principle, will typically use this view.
  • Stacked by Status: this view will order the bookings according to the status of the booking. The statuses and status orders are configured in the software settings. This view is designed for practices that are not working according to time slots but who assist patients in the order of their appointment status. For example, Practitioners who want to see which patients are ready for treatments or Cashiers who need to see all patients who are ready to make payments. It can be configured so that the Stacked by Status view will group all awaited bookings together and all arrived bookings together.
  • Stacked by Type: This view will order the bookings according to the Type of the bookings. The types and type orders are configured in the software settings. This view is designed for ER/Emergency Practices. Eg Green, Orange and Red types will give the ER a chance to prioritise Red (Urgent) bookings etc.
Printing File Cover Sheet (Desktop App) and Debtor Cover sheet (Web App)
  • Printing cover sheets will help to ensure that the patient confirms his/her details by signing the printout.
  • The practice can place terms and conditions on the cover sheet to be signed by the debtor (Desktop App).
  • By signing the cover sheet the debtor / patient accepts the practice's terms and conditions, eg for the settlement of the account, and confirms that the information on the system is correct and up to date.
  • Email this File Cover Sheet (Desktop App) or Debtor Cover sheet (Web App) to any other medical practitioner who has been involved in the treatment of the patient.
Use of the Sidebar
  • Use of the Sidebar will give you quick access to the main functions, eg the patient’s appointment, sending SMSs, emails and statements, doing validations, changing the reasons for appointments etc.
  • View basic information on a patient like demographic information, clinical information, last transaction history, outstanding totals, billing, receipting and account details.
  • Manage patients waiting for appointments.
Waiting Room
The Waiting Room function will allow the practitioner to see which patients have arrived and are waiting in the reception ready for the consultation.

Desktop App Waiting Room

  • The default order of the waiting room is the appointment time. This means that patients will be listed in the order of their appointments instead of arrivals, preventing patients from jumping the queue by coming early for their appointments.
  • However, if a patient has an emergency and requires the practitioner's immediate attention, the order can be manually changed.
  • The waiting room enables the practitioner to see which patients are late and/or on time and ready for their appointments.

Web App Waiting Room

  • The diary type can be configured on Stack View and the visibility set in the user settings that only the Arrive status is visible for the Practitioner.
  • The default order of the waiting room is the appointment time. This means that patients will be listed in the order of their appointments instead of arrivals, preventing patients from jumping the queue by coming early for their appointments.

Theatre / Surgery

  • This function enables the practice to add and manage patients who will be going to one or multiple theatres, to the theatre list.
  • The practice can build theatre sessions to reflect the time that practitioners should be available at the hospital(s) for operations.
  • The whole theatre procedure can be captured, eg ICD10 codes, theatre time, procedures, CTP4 codes, staff involved, prostheses and risks.
  • Send your theatre list from the diary directly to the hospital via email, spreadsheet or MyGrandCentral.
  • Book all patients that are on the theatre list onto the diary.
  • With the Web App, the theatre list can be linked to hospitals using the GoodX Web App so as to automatically make theatre bookings at the hospital.

Print Diary
  • If the practice is expecting a power outage or is scheduled for the computer maintenance, the diary can be printed for use during those times.
  • The diary can also be printed when the practitioner travels and will not have access to a computer or electronic device or access to the internet.
Waiting List (Desktop App)

  • The Waiting List can be used to manage a fully booked dairy by managing cancellations and filling the cancelled time slots with patients who are waiting for an appointment.
  • The columns in the Waiting List can be selected in User Preferences under the Diary View tab.
  • When a patient requests an appointment, but the diary is fully booked, the patient’s details can be added to the Waiting List with a preferred date.
  • As soon as a time slot becomes available, the patient can be contacted to be placed on the available time slot.

Diary Statuses
  • The purpose of Diary Statuses is to show the practice where the patients are in the patient flow process of the practice.
  • Example: If the patient arrives at the practice their status changes from Booked to Arrived. When the patient has received treatment by the practitioner, the patient status can be changed to Treated so that billing can continue.
  • Every Status can be configured with a unique colour as the user requires.
  • Every Status in the Desktop App will have a unique symbol.
  • In the Web App, the Status can be linked to certain actions, eg. when the patient is billed the status can move automatically to receipt, so that the user will know that the next step is to request the outstanding invoiced amount from the patient.
  • In the Web App statuses can be configured and the orders can be designed and linked to the next steps.
  • In the Web App, the Diary Statuses can be configured to reflect their own colours.
Diary Colours (Desktop App)
  • The purpose of Diary Colours is to show the practitioner what the status of patients is at a glance.
  • Example: If a patient arrives at the practice and is set to Arrive, the Colour of the booking will change. Every time the status changes the Colour will change and in this way, the practitioner can organise his diary and make sure every patient is billed and their account settled.

Diary Types (Web App)

  • The Diary Types assist the practice to manage patients by the type of consultation or procedure that will be provided. This assists the practice in working quicker and more efficient.
  • Examples of Diary Types are Consultation, Follow Up, Medicals, Root Canal, Extraction and Fillings.
  • The Diary Type will communicate the amount of time the practitioner will need for each type of appointment. It will also assist the billing expert to know what to bill as the correct tariff codes and stock codes can be linked to the different types for ease of reference.
  • The Diary Types can be configured each with their own length time slots, and linked to their own Macros/Combinations.
  • The Diary Types can be configured not to be eligible for billing, eg Out Of Office, Lunch or Meeting.
Available Bookings

When a patient phone the practice to make a booking, use the available booking function to immediately see all the open timeslots for each practitioner or diary. This will assist in a quicker response to the patient and ensure no double bookings. 

Timeslot and Appointment History (Web App)

  • The history of each Appointment and Time Slot can be viewed.
  • When an appointment is moved or cancelled, the Appointment History will show which data was previously captured for that appointment, when a change was captured and by whom.
  • The Timeslot History will show which changes were made on a Time Slot.